Twilight Twitches

msgrfetscherDear Family,
Thank you for your first responses to ABCD. We are already at 28% or $32,970 of our goal of $119,234.63. This number does not include amounts that you sent to the Archdiocese directly. So, we are off to another great year. I hope that doesn’t sound too presumptuous.

For those of you who are visitors, I’m talking about the annual ArchBishop’s Charities and Development appeal. Along with the other 100+ parishes, we pool our resources through ABCD to reach out to do things that individual parishes don’t handle. Again, I’m trying very hard not to presume anything, But,... Thank You!!!

By the way, I’m having many happy chuckles about the 4 of you who added the 63 cents to your pledge. That is a weird goal: $119,234.63

The extermination tenting seems to have gone very well. All our iguanas who sun themselves on the warm tiles got the message and none fell prey to “the big gas.” Some did, however, suffer from the cold snap last weekend.

On the other hand, it seems the termites have gone to bug heaven, and we can only hope they took all their relatives with them. Goodness knows we paid enough for their flight tickets.

Thinking of termite funerals reminds me of some ideas I’ve had for quite a while. This is not occasioned by any one instance or person, etc., but more about the customs we have surrounding death.

In particular, I’d like to talk about funerals. The short version of my thought is that a funeral ought to take place close to the time of death.

I also have a problem with “Celebration of Life” references as though there is no pain involved.

I know there can be many, many reasons for delaying a funeral. Each circumstance is different. But in general, I notice that more often, funerals are delayed. How often I’ve heard, “we are waiting until everyone can get here.” Why? Are funerals the only reason for having a family reunion?

We Catholics often use sacramental celebrations as reasons for coming together, and that’s a good thing. Still, it’s a wonderful gift to each other just to be able to say, “we are all meeting at Aunt Lucy’s house next May for the fun of it.” (Make sure someone tells Lucy.)

Funerals aren’t supposed to be ‘convenient.’ They are a part of the interruption of the normal state of things that death is. We can plan ahead. We can pick scripture readings; we can leave directions for the party. I even bought my casket from the Trappists. But I’d like to think that when I die, there will be some inconvenience, some messiness, a little hole, a hole in people’s lives that will remind them to keep praying for me.

Funerals are for the folks who are still here. Our prayers for the deceased are heard in God’s instant now, so in a blink God hears all the prayer that will ever be offered for someone. The deceased’s arrival in heaven isn’t the issue.

A funeral’s timing ought to pay attention to consoling the people physically close to the deceased – and I mean literally close, especially people like family members who were the long-term caregivers. They have an immediate emptiness that eases when people gather. Sooner is better.

When I began this Twitch, I had no idea what I was going to be write. Who knew it would be funerals? By the way, I’m not planning mine anytime soon...

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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